E.R.: THE FINAL SEASON
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The drama may not be ending for the doctors and nurses in the emergency room of County General Hospital in Chicago, but the show is. In the fifteenth season of this extremely popular medical drama, fans can say good-bye to the series, which switches up some cast members at the opening of the season. Relationships come to a close and others open up, and some of the doctors from the past make a return to the E.R.
WHAT I LIKED
Though I haven’t seen even half of the episodes of “E.R.,” I can appreciate the show. This is a show for the fans, and this final season really gives back to the fans. Sure, the drama continues, and we see all the characters knocking around with various relationships, some of them leaving (quite permanently, mind you) and others return.
It’s the ones that return that make this season a nice cap for the fans of the show. I’m not talking about bringing Angela Basset into the main cast as Dr. Cate Banfield. Instead, I’m talking about the return of the characters from the initial cast that made this show a hit in the mid-90s. If the character is still alive (like Dr. Carter, played by Noah Wyle or Dr. Ross, played by George Clooney), they make a cameo spot in the show. Even the long-dead Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) gets a cameo via the magic of flashbacks.
By the time any show gets to its 15th season, everything that could be don in the series has been done. Running a full 22 episodes, there’s plenty of breathing room to have ongoing drama. And each episode features its own medical challenges. But the real reason to check this season out is how it stands a swan song to the series itself.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As cool as the final season is of this show, it has never been my favorite. The bottom line is that I never really liked the characters. With the exception of characters that none of the other character like (such as Dr. Kevin Moretti, played by Stanley Tucci, and Dr. Victor Clemente, played by John Leguizamo), I found nothing to relate with any of them.
This trend continues through the fifteenth season with beautiful doctors who are seriously, seriously messed up. Such is the case for medical dramas, I suppose, since both “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” continue this trend into a new decade.
Competently made, emotionally draining, cinematically shot and loved by fans, “E.R.” will never be one of my favorites because, frankly, I don’t like the character in it.
Like other seasons, this DVD set includes “Outpatient Outtakes,” which amount to a series of deleted scenes. However, unlike previous seasons which had supplemental features exhausted long ago, there’s a neat 45-minute retrospective of the show itself. Sure, it’s very self-congratulatory and makes wild claims (like it was the first show to have flawed doctors and deal with serious medical and social issues… apparently no one making this featurette ever saw “M*A*S*H” or “St. Elsewhere”), but it’s neat to watch for the history of the series.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the show who want to watch it say good-bye in style.